Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Hemp farmer renewing his fight with government

Alex White Plume wants to plant and harvest the industrial raw material

Source: kotatv.com

The last decade has seen an easing in some marijuana laws across the country but it hasn't helped one KOTA Territory man in his fight to grow industrial hemp, a close cousin of the marijuana plant.
Alex White Plume surveys a lush green field on his property outside of Manderson on the Pine Ridge Reservation and reaches out to grab a dead weed.
“This particular hemp plant is called a super fiber plant,” he said pulling off some fibers off a stalk. “They've been standing up all year and they're still tough and still strong.”
Volunteer hemp plants still grow on White Plume's property but he can't by law touch them. He and his brother planted the crop for three years starting in 2000 but federal agents destroyed the plants.
 “It was like a military operation when they came here,” he said. “I wish I had had a camera.”
Since 2004 he has been barred by a federal restraining order from planting the crop and now, more than a decade later, he's starting to fight back. His formal, written request that the government rescind the restraining order was declined this spring and now he's preparing to go back to court.
“In a couple of weeks we're going to file a brief in federal court to sue the Department of Justice back for that restraining order,” he said.
White Plume is buoyed by the changes in marijuana and hemp laws. Hemp can be used to make a wide range of products but is illegal because it is a type of cannabis plant and looks like marijuana. But three states now have legal test hemp crops and four states have legalized marijuana. 
But for White Plume, the two key issues remain sovereignty and poverty. First, he says, the 1868 Ft. Laramie Treaty gives him economic freedoms he says are being abridged.
“And in that treaty it says that we can grow any food we want or utilize any material we want,” he said.
And second, he says he's looking for a road to prosperity.
“Look at the condition of my family. There's a house up there just run down,” he said with a wave of his arm. “I'm just so tired of poverty. Somebody is creating something new with hemp fibers or hemp oil every day. I just wanted to participate in that.”
White plume has the full support of Oglala Sioux Tribal President John Yellow Bird Steele who sees hemp as an economic development tool.

Tragic Fate of Marijuana Leaves Grown for Hemp Clothes

By M. H. Lee
Source: koreabizwire.com

When the harvest season comes, the city government sends officials to supervise the process. After harvesting the hemp, farmers burn unused leaves and peeled stalks under the watchful eyes of the supervisors. (image: Yonhap)
When the harvest season comes, the city government sends officials to supervise the process. After harvesting the hemp, farmers burn unused leaves and peeled stalks under the watchful eyes of the supervisors. (image: Yonhap)

SEOUL, June 29 (Korea Bizwire) – In Andong, a farming city in North Gyeongsang Province, there are several farms openly growing hemp, a high-growing variety of cannabis. Of course, they are not growing the plant to make marijuana, which is banned in Korea.
The hemp grown in Andong is used to make hemp fabric, one of the most precious products sent to kings during the Joseon dynasty. Andong produces some of Korea’s best hemp fabrics with its sandy soil, which is good for hemp growing, as well as an abundance of traditional weaving skill.
Currently, 12 farms are growing hemp on 1 hectare of land. They sew hemp seeds in late March and begin harvesting the crop in late June.
As they mainly use hemp stalks as fiber for making hemp clothes, many are often curious about what happens to the unused hemp leaves.
The fully-grown hemp leaves have less hallucinogenic compounds than new sprouts, so marijuana is usually made from the newly budded leaves. However, it cannot be an excuse for the reckless dumping of hemp leaves, as they contain hallucinogenic compounds anyway.
When the harvest season comes, the city government sends officials to supervise the process. After harvesting the hemp, farmers burn unused leaves and peeled stalks under the watchful eyes of the supervisors.
The hemp fabric produced in Andong, andongpo, was renowned for its high-quality during the Silla Dynasty (57 B.C.-A.D. 935), when it was used to make costumes for “hwarang,” or flowering knights, an elite group of male youth. During the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), the fabric was used to make summer wear for commoners and even to send to kings.
In Korea, hemp was one of four popular traditional textile fibers, along with cotton, ramie and silk. However, the tradition of making hemp fabric is disappearing, as it requires complicated skills that are hard to obtain, and cheap hemp fabric from China is dominating the market.

University of Kentucky research pushes industrial hemp toward productive future

by Tim Thornberry
Source: bizlex.com

Local, state and national advocates for industrial hemp recently gathered at the University of Kentucky Research Farm to experience the crop firsthand and celebrate Hemp History Week. In its second year of research, the Kentucky hemp movement is leading the way nationally to restored production.
Eric Steenstra, executive director of the Hemp Industries Association, served as emcee of the event and noted Kentucky’s rich history with the crop.
“Kentucky has an incredible, long history of growing hemp and was, at one time, the center of the hemp industry,” he said. “It’s certainly taking the lead now thanks to Commissioner [James] Comer from the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, who was really the one who championed bringing back hemp and pushed it through the legislature against some stiff opposition.”
Adam Watson, who heads up the industrial hemp program at KDA, addressed the gathering and talked about moving hemp forward from just research production to the real thing.
“In some instances, hemp is still very much an oddity and not something everyone is familiar with. But with the work from last year continuing this year, we’re hoping to move hemp more to the realm of just another agriculture commodity because, in truth, that’s what it is,” he said.
Watson added that the industry is in an educational stage, getting the word out as to what hemp is and what it isn’t.
“But we hope to get to the point that if you want to know about hemp, talk to a hemp farmer or talk to your county ag agent,” he said. “They are the ones that can fill you in because for us, hemp should be considered and regarded as just an agricultural crop.”
Unfortunately, the federal government has not come to that realization yet, as hemp remains on the controlled substances list.
Watson believes the day is getting closer to when that will no longer be the case.
“I think the reality of industrial hemp is, if we can show and prove it has a spot in the modern farm economy, if we’re successful with these research pilot programs, that will be the greatest step toward having action at a federal level,” he said.
That may still take time as research continues, but proponents feel confident. Andrew Graves represents the seventh generation in his family to be involved in hemp production. He is CEO of Atelo Holdings, a holding company for three hemp businesses. An experienced tobacco grower, Graves said it is an appropriate time to have another crop.
“What’s most important is we are doing real on-farm research that’s valuable to longterm growing of this young industry,” he said. “Farmers can now go out and touch and feel it, bring their friends in to look at it. We can talk about it freely, and you don’t have to demonize it in any way. It’s out in the open.”
Graves added that he sees a new generation getting involved in hemp production and feels they see long-term opportunities in this crop.
Advocates for industrial hemp, young and otherwise, are hopeful current research efforts will help those opportunities be realized.
Having gained research funding this year, UK expanded its study of the crop, adding a graduate assistant for the hemp project and increasing the number of research acres planted to about 30 acres.
David Williams, UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment agronomist and co-project lead for the hemp research, said much has been learned here from looking at research and production in other countries where industrial hemp is legal.
“We are relying on that information to guide our own research activities here,” he said. “I think it is pretty well known what the main harvestable commodities are from hemp, so I don’t necessarily expect that we’re going to discover new uses for the plant, at least not immediately. But I don’t know of any other species that is propagated and harvested for such varied purposes.”
Among the uses, Williams points to fiber production and cannabinoid research as two areas of great interest. Cannabinoids are extracts derived from industrial hemp that are often used in medical research.
Some of that cannabinoid research, which until now has been conducted indoors, is going outdoors at UK, something that may hold the key to it being a potential replacement crop for tobacco producers.
“I’ll underline and bold that word ‘potential,’ ” Williams cautioned. “If a tobacco production model yielded more cannabinoids than a direct-seeding model, it could be a potentially wonderful thing for central Kentucky farmers.”
Leah Black, a graduate research assistant and recent Auburn University graduate with a degree in agronomy and soils, is aiding the research at UK.
After visiting Williams last October, she discovered a few weeks ago she would be coming to Kentucky to assist in the program.
“My master’s degree will be in integrated plant and soil science with a focus on hemp research with my projects,” she said.
Black has long had an interest in industrial hemp and worked most of her last year at Auburn to find a program like the one at UK.
“I was over the moon when Dr. Williams approached me with an assistantship offer to work on hemp,” she said.
Black is among a growing number of young people showing an interest in hemp. She said it’s important to get hard science behind it to help legitimize the industry.
“I feel we would be making a horrible mistake if we were to neglect a crop with so many diverse uses,” said Black.

Virginia Tech files hemp application

By Mike Gangloff 
Source: roanoke.com

hemp stalks 012915
Jim Politis (left) displays hemp stalks during a 
General Assembly hearing earlier this year as Del. 
Joseph Yost, R-Pearisburg, looks on.

Virginia Tech researchers applied this week for a state license to join the first wave of farmers and scientists who want to relearn the intricacies of hemp cultivation.
“Even though there is a history of growing it, to us, it’s new,” said Saied Mostaghimi, associate dean of Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
Tech was one of three universities that had asked for hemp licenses by early Friday afternoon — just ahead of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ deadline for applications. Obtaining the licenses to experiment with what has been a banned substance for decades is an attempt to restart an industry with deep ties to the commonwealth.
A 1619 law in the Virginia colony required settlers to grow hemp to make needed rope and fabric. Later, Thomas Jefferson invented equipment to aid in processing hemp fiber.
Last year at an event to mark the writing of the Virginia hemp legislation, its author, Del. Joseph Yost, R-Pearisburg, noted that the first two drafts of the Declaration of Independence were written on hemp paper.
But except for a few years around World War II, when hemp growing was re-started to make rope, the plant long has been outlawed as a type of marijuana. The plants are both strains of cannabis sativa, but hemp has more fiber than the marijuana that is smoked, and less delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the chemical that produces the marijuana high.
Last year’s federal farm bill opened the door to hemp growing as part of research programs in states that passed enabling legislation.
Mostaghimi said that he has heard substantial interest from farmers interested in growing hemp, but so far Virginia allows cultivation only under university auspices and only by licensed research projects.
The agriculture department is still setting up its licensing process, department communications director Elaine Lidholm said.
While the agriculture department’s role is clear — “We are the guardians of the seeds,” Lidholm said — officials aren’t sure yet how long it will take to review applications and grant licenses.
“The only thing I’ve heard about a timeline is they want to do this quickly,” Lidholm said.
Yost and other hemp backers want Virginia growers to tap into a U.S. market that the Virginia Industrial Hemp Coalition estimated last year at more than $500 million. The plant’s fiber and oil are used in food, mixed with concrete, and turned into medicine, among other uses. Supporters have described a possible economic boon to depressed agricultural communities if processing plants are set up near cultivation areas.
But to get there, researchers have to embark on a rediscovery.
While the crop was grown widely early in Virginia’s history, basic knowledge of how best to raise it has been lost. “If it was documented, it wasn’t kept,” Mostaghimi said Friday.
He admitted some scientific frustration with having to catch up to the growers of a century and more ago — “You’re reinventing the wheel!” he exclaimed.
It is already too late this year to do much hemp-growing outside of greenhouses, Mostaghimi said. But next spring, Tech’s team plans to sow different hemp varieties in test plots — probably at the university’s Kentland Farm in Montgomery County and at the 11 agricultural research and extension sites that the university oversees across Virginia, he said.
After a growing season or so, when researchers have a sense of which varieties do best in which locations, they will begin looking into specific products that might be made with the plant, he said.
Mostaghimi said that he and others at Tech are in contact with researchers at Virginia State University and James Madison University, the other two schools that applied for hemp licenses. Eventually, it may make sense to cooperate.
But for now, Tech’s focus will be on the basics.
“There are lots of unknowns about how you grow hemp — what areas of Virginia, what soils, what types of climate,” Mostaghimi said.

And in today’s world, “whether it’s even economically viable,” he added.

Get a nutritional hit with hemp

Cousin of cannabis won’t get you high, but it’s an easy way to boost food’s healthiness

Source: theprovince.com

Patricia Chuey: Get a nutritional hit with hemp

Get all the goodness of hemp in a juicy veggie burger.

No longer used just for clothing and rope, hemp has steadily been entering supermarkets as consumers look for healthier food products.

Since 1998, industrial hemp for food use has been grown on the Canadian prairies. Hemp hearts, hemp protein powder and hemp oil come from the hemp seeds found at the top of the plant. Plants are not genetically modified.

Although both hemp and marijuana come from the cannabis plant, the two products are best thought of as very distant cousins. Food hemp contains virtually zero THC (0.001 per cent), the substance responsible for the marijuana “high,” and has no psychoactive properties.

It is a rich source of healthy omega-3 fatty acids (also found in salmon, other fatty fish, nuts and seeds), vitamin E and magnesium, and is a source of iron and other minerals.

Hemp seeds or hearts are oatmeal coloured and between sesame seeds and sunflower seeds in size. They smell slightly sweet and earthy, similar in scent and taste to fresh sunflower seeds or pine nuts, and are naturally gluten free.

A three tablespoon serving provides 170 calories, 13 grams of good fats and 10 grams of protein (that’s about half the protein of a meat serving). They are fairly pricey, but a little goes a long way in enhancing the nutritional value of a meal or snack.

You can sprinkle them on hot or cold cereal, cooked vegetables, salads and yogurt; add to smoothies, pancake or muffin batters; or try recipes like the ones presented here, inspired by ideas at manitobaharvest.com.

Hemp Veggie Burgers
Makes 10
1 pkg. soft tofu, about 10 ounces
2 Tbsp sodium-reduced soy sauce
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
¼ cup sunflower seeds
2½ cups cooked quinoa or rice
2 eggs, lightly beaten
½ cup green onion
1 cup hemp hearts
½ tsp. coriander
½ tsp. curry powder
vegetable oil, for cooking

In food processor or blender, purée tofu with soy sauce, nutritional yeast and sunflower seeds until it looks like a thick sauce.
Stir in quinoa, eggs, onion, hemp hearts, coriander and curry powder.
To minimize sticking, keep hands slightly damp and shape mixture into 10 burger patties, about 1/3 cup each.
Heat about 2 Tbsp vegetable oil in frying pan. Without overcrowding the pan, pan-fry the patties for about 4 minutes per side until golden.
Serve on whole-grain buns with all the fixings or open-faced on a bed of mixed greens and vegetables.
Per serving (1 patty): 167 calories, 12 g carbohydrate, 4.5 g fibre, 122 mg sodium, 10 g fat, 14 g protein

Hemp Coconut Balls
Makes 30
Consider two of these tasty nuggets to be a homemade energy bar.
1½ cups medium unsweetened coconut, toasted
1 cup almond or peanut butter
1 cup hemp hearts
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 tsp. cinnamon
¼ cup raisins (optional)
¼ cup dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 165 C (325 F). Spread the coconut on a baking pan and toast for 5-10 minutes or until lightly browned.

While coconut toasts, mix all other ingredients together in a large bowl.
Add the coconut and mix well.

To minimize sticking, with slightly damp hands, roll into 30 balls, about 1 tablespoon each. Place on pan and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight. Store in sealed container in fridge, or freeze.
Per serving (2): 222 calories, 16 g carbohydrate, 4 g fibre, 0 mg sodium, 20 g fat, 9 g protein

Super Crispy Rosemary Crackers
Makes 60 crackers
These gluten free crackers can be customized by adding different dried herbs, pepper or finely grated cheese.
½ cup flax seeds (whole or ground)
1/3 cup sesame seeds, toasted
2 cups cooked brown rice
2 cups cooked quinoa
1/3 cup hemp seeds
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. dried rosemary
3 Tbsp coconut, olive or hemp oil

Soak flax seeds in ½ cup water for 30 minutes. Stir. Makes a thick paste.
Preheat oven to 175 C (350 F). Toast sesame seeds in oven for about 5 minutes. Remove seeds, but keep oven on.

Using electric mixer or food processor, blend rice, quinoa, flax, salt, rosemary and oil until mixture is the texture of cookie dough. It will be sticky.

Mix in sesame and hemp seeds. Divide dough into 2 portions.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Place one portion of the dough on the sheet. With a second sheet of parchment paper on top, carefully roll the dough out as thinly as possible. Score or cut into cracker shapes in the size of your choice. Repeat with second portion of dough on another pan.

Bake for about 30 minutes at until golden brown. Fully cool and break along the score lines. If not crispy enough after cooling, bake for an additional 30 minutes at 120 C (250 F). Allow to cool before breaking crackers apart.

Per serving (4 crackers): 144 calories, 13 g carbohydrate, 3.5 g fibre, 84 mg sodium, 7 g fat, 4 g protein

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Hemp welcomed back to Minnesota on small scale

By Brian Bakst
Source: lacrossetribune.com

Industrial Hemp
A tractor cuts a small plot of hemp at a University of Kentucky research plot near Lexington. While Minnesota may not be as ambitious as Kentucky, where agriculture officials have said their goal is to make the state synonymous with hemp like Idaho with potatoes, the once-banished crop could soon sprout legally again in select the state's farm fields. Minnesota lawmakers approved a bill this month making theirs the latest among an expanding network of states to reconsider the commodity potential of the cousin to marijuana.

ST. PAUL, Minn. — A once-banished crop could soon sprout legally again in select Minnesota farm fields: hemp plants that lead to oils, lotions, seeds, rope fibers and other industrial uses.
Minnesota lawmakers approved the “Industrial Hemp Development Act” this month, making theirs the latest among an expanding network of states to reconsider the commodity potential of the cannabis cousin to marijuana. But don’t bet on a sudden hemp boom because federal restrictions on cultivation and sales are prompting a cautious approach from Minnesota regulators.
The state Department of Agriculture, which will write rules for hemp production and licensing, signaled Monday it won’t rush to register growers beyond a pilot research project for now.
“There will be no cultivation of industrial hemp — outside of the pilot program developed for ‘institutions of higher education in Minnesota’ — until 24 hours after the federal government authorizes nationalized commercial production,” agency spokesman Allen Sommerfeld told The Associated Press in an email responding to questions about timelines for implementing the law.
There are no signs that authorization is on the horizon. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has taken a strict stance in response to state industrial hemp laws, stressing that a 2014 federal farm law merely makes accommodations for academic research and isn’t an invitation for commercial sales. Bills to clear the path to commercial hemp cultivation are pending in Congress but barely budging.
Given the stage of Minnesota’s limited growing season, authorized hemp planting probably won’t commence until next year anyway.
Stevens County farmer Josh Helberg, who grows corn and beans on 250 acres, is eager to turn a segment of his fields into a test plot. Helberg is pushing for answers from University of Minnesota researchers and state officials about how to get involved. He anticipates having to fork out tens of thousands of dollars of his own money to get started but worries about how to recoup the investment down the road.
“How can you afford to plant that seed when you can’t sell hemp anywhere?” Helberg said. “Everyone wants some of the red tape to get cut so we can make it a commodity and thrive from it. It’s crazy to have our hands tied on it.”
Hemp used to be a staple crop across the American countryside, but fell out of favor in the 1930s and 1940s when it got swept up in a national marijuana crackdown. While the two have a biological connection, the hemp plant grown for its fibers and oils contains only trace levels of the chemical in the cannabis plant that induces the psychoactive high for marijuana users.
At least 20 states have legalized industrial hemp production under prescribed limitations and that is commonly tied to research activities, according to National Conference of State Legislatures data. Few are as ambitious as Kentucky where Agriculture Commissioner James Comer said last month his goal was to make the state “synonymous with hemp like Idaho with potatoes.” There, 121 hemp research projects have been approved for plant growth on more than 1,700 total acres.
In neighboring Tennessee, 46 producers have begun growing the crop after the state received federal clearance to import seeds this spring, said Corinne Gould, spokeswoman for Tennessee’s Department of Agriculture.
Some in Minnesota law enforcement still worry about hemp’s legal reintroduction.
The Minnesota Sheriffs Association resisted the hemp measure that was rolled into a giant agriculture and environment budget bill adopted in this month’s special session. Executive Director Jim Franklin said he plans to keep close tabs on the agriculture department’s process for making rules, particularly relating to background checks for those involved in hemp production or distribution.
“Creative people find new and creative ways to potentially take and misuse product,” Franklin said. “We don’t know what we don’t know about how people might use and abuse this into the future.”
Republican Sen. Branden Petersen of Andover, a supporter of the hemp law, said attempts to link industrial hemp to marijuana are off base.
“It would be like comparing a tulip to a rose,” Petersen said. “They are both flowers but other than that they are not very similar.”

Maine Officially Legalizes Hemp Cultivation

 Source: ireadculture.com

A new decree that allows for the cultivation of hemp in Maine is currently in effect after a veto by Gov. Paul LePage was superseded, according to Governing.com.
"I am absolutely thrilled that this is now law," stated Rep. Deborah Sanderson, R-Chelsea. The veto was overridden by a vote of 135 in favor, 6 opposed and 10 absences on May 12 in the Maine House. The senate also chose to reverse the veto on June 16, by a vote of 28 in favor and 6 opposed.
"This was overwhelmingly overridden," she added on Monday of the veto. "It got big support in both the House and the Senate. Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle really showed their support for it."
On Monday, Sanderson said the emergency statute would go into effect immediately so that cultivators can plant their seeds as early as possible.
The rule permits planters to buy hemp seeds from any qualified seed source, rather than only certified Canadian producers, as initially presented in the first version of the bill.
When Sanderson first introduced the bill, community members, farmers, organic growers, and agricultural researchers rallied behind the initiative. The measure will open new prospects to farmers and deliver local sourcing for many hemp-made products, according to the representatives.
Hemp fibers have many diverse uses including textile making, paper, insulation, building materials and composites for auto bodies. But hemp is also tainted in controversy because it comes from the same plant as cannabis, which is why it’s still classified as a drug under federal law. But proponents argue that industrial hemp contains far less THC than cannabis sativa and cannot be used to get “high.”
On Feb. 10, during a public hearing on the bill in the State House, Jon Olson of the Maine Farm Bureau testified that the farming of industrial hemp was deliberated at an Aroostook County Farm Bureau meeting and said that famers believed it would be “value added” crop to add to their rotation.
Ann Gibbs, acting Director of the Animal and Plant Health Division for the Maine Department of Agriculture, was neutral on the bill and stated that hemp is classified as a “drug” under the Federal Controlled Substance Act, and would be difficult to import for commercial use due to the restrictions. The DEA controls any hemp that is grown legally and has only given permission to the state Department of Agriculture or to universities for research so far.
The bill calls for licensing fees that should be "reasonable and necessary to cover the costs of the department" and would be set at the preference of the Maine Commissioner of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry.
Colorado, Kentucky and Vermont have already legalized industrial hemp for cultivation and research.

Some Ky. hemp seed set to be destroyed

By Gregory A. Hall
Source: courier-journal.com

hemp harvest

A year after Kentucky's agriculture department went to court to get hemp seed released for its research programs, a German exporter's failure to obtain the proper paperwork apparently will lead to the destruction of more than three tons of seed sitting in Chicago.
"That's not what we want, but, unfortunately, that's the situation where we're at," said Adam Watson, the coordinator of industrial hemp programs for the Kentucky ag department. "Snafus happen. ... It's not that we think there was any bad actor involved, but there apparently were mistakes involved."
The paperwork problem will reduce or eliminate the seed for almost a fourth of this year's research projects allowed under the 2014 Farm Bill that sets out federal agriculture policy. Since most of these projects are smaller in nature, the impact on Kentucky's hemp acreage is closer to 5 percent of the crop, Watson said.
The department doesn't directly obtain seed, which is a business transaction between growers and suppliers, but Watson said the department is considering taking a more active role in the future after the problem this year.
Seed for last year's first crop initially was held up over drug law issues, which resulted in a brief court battle, but this year's issue is the result of a German exporter's failure to get a routine agricultural paper called a Phytosanitary Certificate. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's website, the certificate is used to track "the inspection of agricultural products and certifies compliance with plant health standards of importing countries."
"It's not anything special to industrial hemp or even seeds, period," Watson said. The certificate "is very common within the agriculture industry whether you're importing or exporting. It ensures that you don't have plant diseases, animal diseases, noxious weeds, insects, things like that, entering or exiting countries."
The Kentucky department became aware of the problem in late May, Watson said. The USDA already granted an extension to produce the paperwork but, apparently, Germany wouldn't issue the certificate after the fact when the seed already had been shipped to the United States, Watson said.
Watson said the Kentucky agriculture department believes that the USDA and customs officials have done their best to help, "but they're bound by regulations." He said the Drug Enforcement Administration permits that were the issue last year weren't a problem this year.
The amount of seed stuck in Chicago is about 6,600 pounds, which would result in about 100 field acres, Watson said. In all, the Kentucky hemp crop this year is planned to be about 1,700 acres in 38 projects. The seed shipment would serve nine projects.
While some growers won't have this variety of hemp desired for fiber "by and large the impact on the entire program as a whole is very minimal," Watson said. He said the department is looking at finding other sources of seeds for growers who might havenone now because of the issue.
Another USDA extension is being sought, Watson said, but it's questionable whether the problem can be fixed even if the extension is granted. The options for federal regulators are destroying the shipment or sending it back — an alternative where the costs likely would outweigh the benefits, Watson said, particularly because the growing season for hemp already is well underway and because of the additional shipping costs.
A USDA spokeswoman was not prepared Thursday to comment on the status of the shipment.
Going forward, Watson said the department is considering being more involved in acquiring seeds and moving up the deadline for proposing hemp projects to the department to give more time for seed, the supply of which is limited according to some reports, to be obtained more easily. The department received 326 applications this year.
"This is the one shipment that didn't make it here this season," Watson said, noting that plants already are out of the ground from other shipments. "We regret that this happened, but the program as a whole is still moving forward."

How Hemp Can Save Fish, Reduce Water and Help Save Trees

by Gina-Marie Cheeseman
Source: justmeans.com

For many people who strive to live healthier lives, the message is clear: make sure you get enough Omega fatty acids in your diet. Many people like the convenience of supplements to get Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids. However, most Omega fatty acid supplements come from fish oil that is extracted from harvesting fish, which is wreaking havoc on certain fish populations.
It used to be that fish oil was a byproduct. The head, a tail and fish guts would be ground and pressed to release oil. The popularity of fish oil has caused species of Omega-rich fish to be harvested for the oil itself. One company wants people to adopt a plant-based Omega fatty acid supplement. The company is called Envision Naturals and they created a supplement made from hemp oil, which is rich in Omega fatty acids. The supplement is called Save the Fish Hemp Oil, and it is made from 100 percent organic Canadian hemp seed oil.
Envision Naturals launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise capital for and awareness of the Save the Fish Hemp Oil supplements. The campaign’s goal is to raise CDN$75,000. It runs until July 3, 2015. Most backers will be given at least one month’s supply of the supplements.
The environmental benefits of hemp
I talked to Chris Dollard, Co-founder of Envision Naturals, to find out more about the supplements. What I discovered is that hemp cultivation in Canada is light years ahead than it is in the U.S. Canada has had a hemp growing program for over 50 years. “Hemp farmers are pretty much non-existent in the U.S. because of prohibition back in the '30s,” Dollard said. “Most of hemp was lumped in with marijuana. The U.S. at the time had one of the richest seed stocks of industrial hemp in the world. The tragic loss there is that it's completely gone. There is nothing left of that. So, American farmers have to rebuild.”
Hemp has several environmental benefits. One of those is reduced water use. It takes about half of the water to grow hemp as it does to grow wheat, Dollard said. Hemp has “really long tap roots that are used to rejuvenate the soil,” he explained. Hemp also requires less water than cotton does. That could be very helpful for California farmers who are faced with a four-year drought, the worst one on record. California is the top cotton-producing state. As Dollard put it, “Cotton requires a huge amount of water to grow.” And California just doesn’t have much water right now. 
Hemp can also be used to make paper. It provides about three to four times the pulp for paper that trees do. If hemp replaces trees to make paper, the environmental benefits are numerous. Or as Dollard said, “If you substitute hemp at the baselines of all these different industries, you're replacing petroleum products big time. You're replacing trees because trees shouldn't be cut down and used to make toilet paper. We need the trees. Rather than use these natural resources or cotton, which require a huge amount of water, we can use hemp.”

Saturday Seminar on hemp boom architecture at KGMC

By Marla Toncray
Source: maysville-online.com

Kentucky Gateway Museum Center

The Kentucky Gateway Museum Center will host a free Saturday Seminar on June 27 at 10:30 a.m., with Elisabeth and Orloff Miller.
The Millers' topic for the seminar is The Houses that Hemp Built; The Antebellum Architecture of Mason County’s 19th Century Hemp Boom.
This talk will present the current findings from an ongoing research project by Elisabeth and Orloff Miller. During the 1830s-1850s Maysville was shipping the second largest tonnage of hemp of any port in the world, and Mason County saw a boom in industrial hemp production and processing. The speakers will focus on the architecture, landscapes and the “built environment,” produced during this period of prosperity, and will present some new information on the farms and factories that participated in the trade.
The event is free of charge including all day use of the Research Library and entry to the three museum galleries: Miniatures Gallery, Changing Gallery and Historical Gallery. There will be light refreshments of coffee cake, tea and coffee.
The Kentucky Gateway Museum Center is located at 215 Sutton Street in downtown Maysville.
For information call 606-564-5865 or e-mail: researchlibrary@kygmc.org.
KGMC hours are: Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.